If you use Outlook.com or OneDrive, you have probably noticed that you can initiate Skype chats from their web-based UIs. Well, now that capability is coming to some of Office Online—the web-based versions of Microsoft's popular Office applications—too. And it may make even more sense in that environment, since will enable easier real-time collaboration when it rolls out in the coming weeks.

Microsoft calls this feature document chat, and it will be available when you're collaborating with others in real time in Word and PowerPoint Online. (That is, it is not available in Excel or OneNote Online.) Just click the little Chat button in the upper right of the window to begin chatting with everyone working in the document.

When you do so, the other user will see a chat notification.

When you initiate or accept a chat request, a chat pane will appear, and it looks similar to the one you can see now in Outlook.com and OneDrive.com.

I don't really collaborate in real time with Office documents, let alone on the web. But this will obviously be a useful feature for those who need such a thing. And since this is Skype, you can continue the conversation outside the browser since it will be available in the Skype app on your smart phones, tablets and other devices.

Microsoft says that document chat will roll out to Office Online customers in the coming weeks.